Can we be honest? Learning Arabic is HARD. With complex grammar rules that differ from many other languages, a seemingly never-ending supply of synonyms for every word, and a different dialect in every country (and sometimes every city), learning Arabic can feel almost impossible.
Yet some have managed to master the art of fluency, with accents so perfect you’d never know they weren’t native Arabic speakers. Below are three ajanib (foreigners) who will show you that becoming fluent in Arabic IS possible, to leave you inspired and fired up to go and learn so you can explore the Middle East like a local.
These non-native Arabic-speaking vloggers show life and culture in the region through a unique lens – both local and foreign, and also not quite either. If you’re looking for Arabic resources on social media or perhaps just a bit of inspiration to remind of what you can achieve when you commit to learning Arabic, you need to follow these guys now!
Top tip: A great way to immerse yourself in a new language is by listening to music! Here are 7 Arabic music playlists on Spotify to get you started…
Lizzie, Jordan @americanqahwa
Born and raised in Georgia, Lizzie was always fascinated with the world outside the USA and became a passionate student of languages. In the middle of her undergraduate degree she decided that it was time to pursue her lifelong dream of learning Arabic, so she packed her bags and moved to Jordan, where she felt instantly at home. She took a year out of college and enrolled in full-time classes for a few months, and has spent the years since (after going home and finishing her degree) working for an NGO in Amman and perfecting her Jordanian dialect. On her Instagram she shares her experience as a foreigner in Jordan with a focus on her language learning journey. Her YouTube channel is coming soon, inshallah…
Max, UAE @maxofarabia
Self-declared ‘third culture kid’ Max is half-English / half-American and lives in Dubai. He speaks fluent Emirati Arabic and his videos on Instagram and YouTube offer unique insights into Emirati and Middle Eastern culture. He also shares his love for adventure sports, from diving off the coast of Oman to paragliding in the Dubai desert. As someone who speaks impeccable Arabic and has grown up with an understanding of the local culture, Max is able to create brilliant vlogs that provide a different perspective on the Middle East to most travel content – particularly when he focuses on some of the region’s less-explored places like Saudi Arabia.
Oliver, Oman @oliverallan90
Oliver is a Brit who grew up in the Middle East and has lived in Oman for twenty years. He has mastered the Arabic language through his day-to-day life in the Sultanate and his lahja (Omani dialect) is so convincing, it’s hard to believe he’s a foreigner! On his Instagram and YouTube channel he shares videos about life in Oman and Omani culture, focusing on cultural differences between Arabs and westerners on the one hand, and also between Omanis from different backgrounds (don’t miss his fascinating video on the Jabali language spoken in Dhofar, in the south of Oman!).
We hope that Lizzie, Max and Oliver’s Arabic-speaking journeys will inspire you to start or continue your own. Sometimes all it takes is an example to follow, someone a few steps ahead to show you what’s possible!
In case you still need a little more inspiration, here are 5 reasons why you should learn Arabic now!
Here’s a list of 7 essential resources for Arabic students to help you on your Arabic learning journey.
What are your biggest struggles when it comes to learning Arabic? Perhaps it’s tracking your progress, not having official classes, or maybe just getting started in the first place…? We want to create more content to help you reach your goals, so leave a comment and let us know what you most need help with!
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